LOS ANGELES, CA – They were down early, they were down three separate times, but they found a way to take down the NHL’s best team tonight at STAPLES Center. The Kings handed the San Jose Sharks just their third loss this season when Anze Kopitar rocketed a beauty of a shot from the top of the point past Antti Niemi with 2:28 remaining in Overtime.
The Kings are now 11-0-1 against the San Jose Sharks at STAPLES Center in their last 12 meetings in Downtown Los Angeles.
This was a toe-to-toe battle from start to finish, as each club traded goals in the first three minutes of the contest. San Jose led the Kings by one goal on three separate occasions, but the Kings had answers each and every time.
After San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic beat Jonathan Quick just :13 seconds into the contest, the Kings pushed the restart button – and evened the score just two minutes later, as Drew Doughty buried a beautiful snap-shot to record his fourth goal of the season.
The Kings entered both the second period (2-1) and third period (3-2) down by a goal, but managed to even the score by the end of each frame.
Down 2-1 to start the second period, Slava Voynov took a pass from Dustin Brown and put his weight into a one-timer shot, which Jarret Stoll redirected past Antti Niemi to even the slate at two goals apiece. Down 3-2 to start the third period, the Kings evened the score on the power play, as Anze Kopitar fed Justin Williams a gorgeous back-door pass, which Williams stuck to the top right corner.
The Kings found themselves tied after 60 minutes of play once again. They’ve been perfect after regulation time this season, and they remained true to that trend tonight.
Less than a minute into Overtime, Jeff Carter drew a hooking penalty on San Jose’s Justin Braun. The Kings’ power play, which struggled throughout much of tonight’s contest, came alive once again – and at a time they needed it most.
Anze Kopitar, who has been shy to pull the trigger at times this season, let an absolute howitzer go from the point without hesitation or second thought – and boy, was it a beautiful thing.
When you put the puck on net, good things happen.
The Kings are now 6-0 after 60 minutes. (4-0 Shootout) (2-0 Overtime)
EXTRA TIME ANZE: Anze Kopitar scored his third career regular season OT goal tonight, his last one came on December 4th, 2010 against the Detroit Red Wings. Kopitar also has three shootout goals this season, and all of them have been the winning tally. Kopitar also has eight points (2G, 6A) in his previous six contests.
POINTS PACE: Drew Doughty, with a goal and an assist tonight, now has six points (3G, 3A) in his last six games. Justin Williams, who also had a goal and an assist tonight, now has eight points (3G, 5A) in his last six games. Mike Richards, who has two assists tonight, now has five points in his previous five games (2G, 3A).
NICE LOOK: The Kings are 8-3-0 in their last 11 games, picking up 16 points out of the 22 that were available for the taking. The Kings are undefeated this season when any player on the roster records a multi-point game. The Kings have outshot their opponent in 12 of 14 contests this season.
DOMINATION STATION: The Kings dominated San Jose in a couple of statistical categories tonight, landing 46 hits compared to San Jose’s 21, winning 39 of 52 face-offs.